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World not coping well with change in diets, FAO says

Urbanization, economic growth and other transformations are causing changes in lifestyles and diets in many parts of the world and countries are not coping as well as they could, (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the United Nations (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva told professors and students at Wageningen University and Research Centre.

The Director-General, on an official two-day visit to the Netherlands, spoke of the need to guarantee the production of safe food and to offer consumers better alternatives and information on their diets.

“We need integrated nutrition strategies, formed with the inputs of society as a whole - the private sector, consumers, doctors, and consumer organizations and others,” he said.

While 870 million people suffer from hunger, there are also over half a billion who are obese and susceptible to non-communicable diseases.

Graziano da Silva signed an accord with the University of Wageningen covering a closer collaboration on scientific research and joint activities to foster and promote education, research and technology capacities in developing countries. He said that FAO was renewing its relationship with the university because it believed that in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, partnerships were “absolutely essential”.

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